Month: January 2015

Baked Spaghetti Squash

When you are in the mood for Italian, but don’t want all of the calories of pasta, turn to spaghetti squash for your answer! This gluten free and one pan dish is easy and so tasty. The recipe makes 1 whole 9×11 pan of spaghetti squash “lasagna”. Ingredients: 1 large size spaghetti squash (or 2 smaller ones) 15 ounces of ricotta 1 medium size fresh mozzarella 1 container of spinach 1 clove of garlic 1 cup tomato sauce (fresh or jarred) Extra Virgin olive oil Salt and pepper Instructions: Preheat the oven to bake at 400 degrees. Slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and drizzle with olive oil. Lightly coat a 9×11 Pyrex or aluminum pan with olive oil and place the squash cut side down on the pan. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes. While the squash is baking, combine the ricotta, egg, spinach, minced garlic clove, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper in a large mixing bowl. Also, slice the fresh mozzarella into 1/4 inch slices. Remove the squash from …

Chasin’ Craving’s Creamy Clam Chowder

It is a pretty big challenge for two people to eat 100 topneck clams in one sitting!!! A friend of the family runs a large seafood distribution company in Miami. We were able to pick up 100 clams for $42 while down in Florida. We love clams, but eating all of them in one sitting was a complete fail. We had about 40 clams left over, so I decided to create my own take on New England clam chowder (and yes the clams were actually from New England)! Here is a great recipe that will make 2 to 3 quarts of soup. It seems like a lot, but once you taste it you will be happy you have some to freeze and have later. Ingredients: 40 live topneck clams (30 for the soup and 10 for garnish) 4 cups water 1 cup heavy cream 2 cups half and half 3 tablespoons flour 3 celery stalks 2 large carrots 1/2 sweet onion 6 russet potatoes 2 sprigs fresh thyme 3 teaspoons chives 4 slices bacon cooked …

Baked Brie

If you are looking for an easy and delicious appetizer or snack, the baked brie is your answer.  With a crusty outside and melty inside, this dish will fulfill your cheesey cravings.  There is also a minimal amount of prep work and can be prepared in advance. Ingredients: 6-8 inch wheel of brie 4 tablespoons fig preserves 1/3 cup sliced almonds 2 eggs 1 package puff pastry Most importantly, make sure you defrost the puff pastry overnight the night before you want to prepare the brie.  You can not defrost it at room temperature as this will change the way the puff pastry will bake.  It is hard to find a good tasting brie that is inexpensive as a whole wheel.  I was able to find a 7 inch wheel of brie at Whole Foods for about $18, which worked very well for this recipe.  Most cheese sections in grocery stores will allow you to taste the cheeses, especially if you are buying a whole wheel.  Picking a brie on the mild side will work …

Sushi Night

One of my favorite foods is sushi and what is better than making it in your own home. Yesterday we were at Chelsea market and went over to The Lobster Place. This fish market is unreal! The amount of shellfish that greets you when you walk in will always put a smile on my face. The shellfish bar is like being in heaven. You can try any type of oyster, clam, etc that you want and there is no minimum order. They shuck everything right there in front of you and you can enjoy the freshness. Making your way around the market you will see a plethora of fresh fish to chose from, including sushi grade fish. They also have a sushi station and a place to order sandwiches and cooked food. We got a little more than half of a pound of yellow tail ($28), half of a pound of tuna ($12), and one third of a pound of fluke ($7). Including the sushi rice, seaweed, ginger, wasabi, cucumber, rolling mat, flavored sushi rice …

Salsa

After my Aunt Pilar taught me her famous salsa recipe, I went home and modified it a little bit. Now I don’t think I will buy another jar of salsa again. This is a very simple recipe for a great dip that you can bottle up and keep in the fridge. You can also use it to prepare fish such as salmon or mahi to give it a little twist.   Ingredients: 6 large beefsteak tomatoes, very red and firm 1 red onion 1 bunch of cilantro 1 jalapeño 2 teaspoons salt 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 3 large limes Instructions: Coarsly chop the tomatoes and onions and put in a large mixing bowl. Finely chop the cilantro. The best way to do this is to keep it as a bunch and begin cutting from the tops of the leaves. Continue to chop until you reach the end of the part with leaves. Do not put too much of the stems in. Add the cilantro to the bowl. Use a mallet to beat the …

Thai Coconut Shrimp and Seabass

On an ice cold winter night, a warm and comforting dinner is always the best. This Thai inspired dish was created from some tips from a friend at the fish market and my friend Wendy! We had a great time in the kitchen, partially following the recipe that we were given and then adding a few twists of our own. You can use any type of fish you prefer, or even chicken. Just remember that chicken will need more time to cook! Ingredients: 2 cans coconut milk 1/2 cup water 1 1/2 cup white basmati rice 1 red pepper 1 carton shitaki mushrooms 4 celery stalks 1 zucchini 1 bunch basil 1 bunch cilantro 2 limes 1 whole sea bass, filet and remove skin 8 shrimp Green curry paste (optional) Extra virgin olive oil Salt Instructions: Prepare the rice by adding 1 cup coconut milk and 1/2 cup water to 1 1/2 cup rice in a rice maker. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. If you do not have a rice maker, use these same proportions …

Lemony String Beans

String beans are a great side dish that can be created in so many ways. This recipe keeps it simple with some lemon zest and sliced almonds. Usually, I enjoy sautéed string beans or French beans, but I decided to try blanching them. The beans came out perfectly cooked and were so tasty! Ingredients: 2 pound bag of string beans (or French beans) 1/2 cup sliced almonds (or your favorite kind of nut) 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil Zest of 1 whole lemon Salt and pepper Instructions: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the beans and cook for 5-10 minutes. Make sure you are checking the beans occasionally so you do not overcook them. I prefer them to be more on the crunchy side, but others like them softer. This is totally up to you so taste test as you are stirring them. When they are at the desired texture, remove them from the heat and strain them. Run some cold water over the beans so that you stop …

Cinnamon Bun Waffles

Gooey, sticky, drippy cinnamon buns are one of the most satisfying treats for a sweet craving. We decided to throw them in a waffle maker for breakfast. For those with a sweet tooth, this is a fantastic breakfast treat. Ingredients: Package of pre-made cinnamon rolls (includes frosting) Waffle maker Cooking Spray We used Pillsbury cinnamon rolls, which can be found in the dairy section by the slice and bake cookies and biscuits.  This was purely personal preference, so you can use any brand that you would normally use for regular cinnamon rolls. The waffle iron should be set up and the temperature should be on medium.  The size of the waffle maker will determine the number of rolls that you could do at once.  It is recommended to do one bun first to see how it cooks in the waffle maker.  Place the bun in the center so you can see how much the bun expands and then determine how many you can do in the next batch. When the waffle maker is heated, lightly …